newbie with questions :)

jessikaandsamson(7)April 12, 2007

hello :) i visited several garden centers last friday and in one of them they had hibiscuses. the flowers were easily 6 inches across and the most beautiful, vibrant colors. they were in pots and almost like a topiary, with all of the growth at the very top in a ball shape. i was going to buy one but we were in the wrong kind of vehicle and had about a 45 minute ride back home. i still want one and will be going back to this garden center soon. i have a deck on the south side of my house that gets sun pretty much all day long. i think a hibiscus (or 2 or 3) would look great out there. would they do well on the deck with sun all day? how big of a pot do they need? they seemed to be doing great and were covered in blooms in the pots that they were in. is there one type or color of hibiscus that's easier to grow than others? was the type that i saw a certain type? thanks in advance for any advice you're willing to give :)

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patckelly(7 delaware)

Welcome:)The Hibiscus that are in the nurseries now in bloom are hothouse hibiscus. They will do fine in full sun on your deck. You will need to bring them in after the summer season and keep them in all winter. I did this for 4 years with one I had. There are Hardy Hibiscus that grow outdoors in the garden in zone 7. I have several and they bloom all summer and survive the winters here in Delaware. They come back each year and bloom all summer for me. Regards, Pat

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 9:23PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

You are seeing Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, or tropical hibiscus. They love full sun. You will need to water fairly often in pots once it gets hot. The tree types (they are called standards) have a tendency to lean or fall over in windy locations. You will need to protect them from freezing and fertilize regularly to keep the blooms coming, but do NOT use a bloom booster fertilizer, that's the kind that has a high middle number. Use one with a low middle number or numbers that are about the same.

I have found that the red ones with single (five-petaled) flowers are the easiest to grow and bloom well.

Hardy hibiscus are a lot less work since they go dormant in the winter. I personally don't like the flowers quite as well, and the stems tend to be tall and lanky. You certainly wouldn't be able to get one pruned into a tree shape.

They are a bit of a challenge to winter over indoors but it can be done. Check out the web site below for help.

Here is a link that might be useful: tropical hibiscus

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 11:38PM
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